Christmas is that time of year that is all about traditions and special decorations. The familiar smells, sounds, and colors make me feel so warm and nostalgic. The last few years, I must admit, I have been that person. The one who decorates for Christmas the moment Halloween is over! But this year… I am letting go of Christmas… (…at least in my head)
Just look at that gorgeous tree next to the fireplace!!! Red and gold sparkling ornaments, beautifully placed ribbon, twinkling white lights, a gorgeous Star on top… It doesn’t get more magical than a beautiful tree and a warm fireplace…
But here’s the confession… These are last years pictures!!! My gorgeous tree is not set up. There is no twinkling lights, sparkling ornaments and no roaring fire right now. And people… We are already over a week into DECEMBER!!!!
I attempted to put up the kids tree. And I am happy to announce that it hasn’t been completely knocked over! (YET!) But all decorations have been removed. Lights are barely hanging on. And quite frankly. This has made me grumpy. Very. Very grumpy.
I have all these expectations of what Christmas should look like, feel like, and even taste and smell like.
I feel like it isn’t much to ask. I put up a tree just for the kids to decorate. I have a tree just for me that is beautiful and fancy and pretty and girly. Is it really all that much to ask them to LEAVE IT ALONE??????
For about two weeks it bothered me. And bothered me a LOT! I mean, I have 6 kids. The first 3 were pretty good around the Christmas tree. Last year, the twins weren’t even crawling, so not a problem. But this year… two 1 year olds, two 3 year olds, and two VERY aggressive older boys…. yah. It’s not going to happen the way I see it in my head. And I must confess to you. It put me in a bad mood.
My bad mood changed when I remembered a few years ago a neighbor of mine. She had just one son. He was having some behavior issues and they were having him tested for autism. Christmas was bringing out some hard behaviors. But what was coming out of her was even worse. She was miserable. I mean downright MISERABLE! It wasn’t her son that was ruining Christmas. It was her. Without stopping to meet his needs, she pushed her expectations on her little family. And when it didn’t measure up, she came crashing down and brought everyone with her.
It is never easy to have a child who has special needs. And now having one of my own with special needs right now, I sympathize with the disappointment of losing those expectations. But there comes a point when we have to let go of those perfect images in our head. The reality is… We have to let them go. And embrace the reality that is right in front of us.
Life is unpredictable. And that is what makes it beautiful, and fun, and thrilling.
I don’t have to give up on Christmas being magical, or beautiful, or fun. But I can remember that this is only for a season. Next year will be completely different. (Hopefully, the twins will finally have some sense and not climb every single piece of furniture!)
So this year. I am letting go of Christmas. The expectations. The pictures in my head. I am enjoying this moment. The first Christmas with SIX kids. The first Christmas with our newest little guy. My new Christmas tree may still be in the box it shipped to me from Amazon in. And it may stay there for another week or maybe never be put up. And that’s okay.
This Christmas I have exactly what I want… Even without the extra twinkling lights and red sparkling ornaments. I am finding that the more I let go, the more special moments I find happening every day. And those sparkle more brightly than a thousand strands of Christmas lights ever could.
I hope sharing with you my struggle you may yourself, find the courage to let go of expectations of the season and find magic in the simple things and everyday moments you have right now. With or without red sparkly ornaments.!
Happy Christmas (even in your head),